Musical Monday: Sunny Side of the Street (1951)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

sunny side of the streetThis week’s musical:
“Sunny Side of the Street” –Musical #487

Studio:
Columbia Pictures Corporations

Director:
Richard Quine

Starring:
Frankie Lane (as himself), Billy Daniels (as himself), Terry Moore, Jerome Courtland, Amanda Blake, Lynn Bari, Dick Wesson, Tori Arden (as herself), Audrey Long, William Tracy

Plot:
CBS Television Studio tour guide Ted Mason (Courtland) wants to be a singing star like Frankie Lane. Studio receptionist Betty Holloway (Moore) helps push him towards his goal and get him on television. But it’s his rich former girlfriend Gloria Pelley (Long) who lands Ted a high dollar contract. Romantic jealousy ensues.

Trivia:
-Filmed in “Super Cine Color”
-Scenes in this film show executives watching color television. By 1951, CBS created a color TV system. However, it failed because it was incompatible for most viewers. Color TV systems were later adopted in 1957.
-William Tracy, who plays Pepi in “The Shop Around the Corner” (1940), plays “Al Little” in this film and never speaks a word of dialogue. The character only whispers to others.
-Singers Frankie Lane, Tori Arden and Billy Daniels play themselves in the film.

Jerome Courtland wants to be a singing star in "Sunny Side of the Street."

Jerome Courtland wants to be a singing star in “Sunny Side of the Street.”

Notable Songs:
-“On the Sunny Side of the Street” sung by Frankie Lane
-“I’m Gonna Live Till I Die” sung by Frankie Lane
-“I May Be Wrong (But I think You’re Wonderful) sung by Frankie Lane and Tori Arden

Frankie Lane and Terry Moore

Frankie Lane and Terry Moore

My Review:
This is an interesting little film. It focuses on television when most film studios were wary of this new form of entertainment that could take audiences away from movie theaters.
None of the actors are remarkable in “Sunny Side of the Street.” Lynn Bari, who generally played a siren in 1940s films, plays the role of the older friend- skeptical of men but looking for love. Prior to this film, the only place I had seen Jerome Courtland prior was as “Tex” in “Battleground” (1949).
Most of the songs were pop standards when this film was released and are sung by recording stars such as Frankie Lane, Tori Arden and Billy Daniels. It’s entertaining to get a glimpse of popular music during this time.
“Sunny Side of the Street” is 71 minutes long, which is long enough for it’s plot. It’s not a remarkable film, but an interesting glimpse at how Hollywood incorporated television into a film.

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